the last 10 years, data breaches at some of the world’s largest corporations
have raised discussion about the effectiveness of available security measures in
the digital age. Certain news outlets are even labeling 2015 as the year that
data breaches became personal, with hackers moving past basic forms of identity
theft toward such intimate information as health records, evidence of secret
romantic liaisons, and even video inside of people’s homes.
the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to connect devices, consumers are
looking to buy from companies that employ responsible practices to keep
personal data safe from theft. Studies show that over 33 percent of created
data generated by 25 billion devices will make its way through the cloud in the
next four years, and 80 percent of it will be stored by businesses. The
Internet of Things will not make security a simple task for the businesses of
executives who want to keep company and consumer data safe in the digital age should
employ the following tips in their data security practices.
1. Consider security before
implementing IoT applications, not after.
security into the design of your company’s technological systems before they
become interconnected is a critical element in the protection of private data.
Digitization of business practices has become the new imperative for any
company that wants to remain relevant, but business leaders who want to
implement a digital strategy need to do so in a calculated, meticulous manner.
The development of security measures for new technology or software should be
conducted during the technology’s implementation phase, not only after a
weakness has been identified.
solid security measures into the design of your company’s technological systems
reduces the possibility that your firm will be caught off guard by data theft
accessed through a blind spot. While security systems embedded within new
technology are crucial to securing data, the physical protection of devices is
also important to consider. This is especially true for company devices operating
offsite, away from the protection of the company’s primary location.
2. Rethink the delegation of IT
Internet of Things has made technology too large and security too important to
rely solely on your IT department for protection. The establishment of security
protocol and discussions about where data is vulnerable will need to extend
outside of your firm’s IT department so that responsibilities can be shared.
This will help create a more comprehensive view of the company’s weak points
and identify problems more easily.
professionals working in the age of the Internet of Things will need to work
with a company’s physical security team and maintain direct communication with
senior members across all departments. Interconnectivity between departments
makes it simpler to communicate security updates and ensure all best practices
are followed correctly. Additionally, IT teams will need to thoroughly research
any technological products based on company security needs prior to purchase,
and buy only from manufacturers that take data security seriously.
3. Implement a multi-tiered security
cybersecurity tools will no longer provide a standalone level of protection.
Firewalls and anti-virus programs, as well as systems that scan for software
intrusion, are growing progressively easier for hackers to bypass, while
innovative ne’er-do-wells continue to develop more creative methods of illegal
access. New threats are already present, in the form of malware delivered
through security patches and software updates.
protect private data, companies will need to develop a multi-tiered security
system that incorporates multiple levels of protection. When building a
multi-level security system, consider adding safety measures such as encryptions
for all connections between IoT devices and the cloud, input sanitization
software for backend servers, and policies that allow employees to access
sensitive data only on a need-to-know basis.
4. Educate your employees.
employees have posed some of the biggest risks to data security in the past,
and that risk grows as the Internet of Things extends its influence. From posting
sensitive information on social media to losing company devices that contain private
data, hackers often find their way into your system through simple mistakes made by staff members who are unaware of the risks.
of the most common ways that thieves infiltrate your technology is through
social engineering ploys, such as phishing scams. Using data collected from
personal websites and professional blogs, scammers contrive plans that often
result in unsuspecting employees sharing passwords or company codes. Because
the Internet of Things depends upon the interconnectivity of large groups of
technology, a thief who gains access to one device or software program will
likely gain access to many.
reduce the risk of social engineering, educate your employees to be responsible
with company devices, mindful of the information they share on social media,
and aware of potential scams sent via e-mail.
5. Keep your customers informed with
transparent security policies.
educating your employees on security best practices in the workplace, your customers
should also receive a clear outline of how your firm uses personal data through
affecting the personal lives of customers have increased consumer awareness
about the risks associated with increased interconnectivity.
said, being clear about your use of personal data will help protect you against
bad press in the event of a data breach, and will also inspire greater brand
confidence in your consumers. Create a transparent and honest overview of how
customer data is used, and make it readily available on your website.